Describe a time when you had to use your written communication skills to get an important point across.
As an Administrative Coordinator at a resort’s convention center, I had a staff of 27. Having such a large staff all working different shifts and having varying schedules meant that meetings could not be held with everyone at one time. I needed to communicate with everyone about important policies and information often, so I came up with the idea of designing a Web page for my staff with written announcements. Each Desk Assistant was required to check the Web page daily at the beginning of his or her shift. I also sent email communications via a distribution list that kept each Desk Assistant informed. The one situation that stands out in my mind is a last-minute group that decided to come in a day early with only one day’s notice. I had no staff scheduled to check in the group or to organize the keys. I posted an update to the Web page and sent an email. Within four hours, I had the following day completely staffed and desk assistants there to organize room keys for the group members that night.
Give me a specific occasion in which you conformed to a policy with which you did not agree.
When I worked at Home Depot as an assistant manager, I was always looking for way to boost my employees’ morale. Unloading trucks is a very routine and physical job and can become very boring and exhausting, so to improve the unloaders’ attitude toward their duties and make the best of the situation, I put a radio in the receiving dock. It worked; however, the district manager did not approve of the radio in the workplace even though it did not interfere with any set policy or company objectives. The radio was also out of any areas where customers would hear the music. I did not agree with my DM’s decision to remove the radio; however, I understood his point of view once he explained it to me and promptly complied with his request. The employees were not happy that their radio was gone, so I found an alternative method of reward and morale boosting by implementing a program in which we provided lunch for the unloaders from any restaurant of their choice if they unloaded the trucks faster than normal. This program succeeded by increasing their unloading time from 2 1/2 hours to only 1 1/2, a savings in payroll of 8 percent of sales for that shift.
Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa).
During my time in the theater, I had one director with whom I absolutely did not work well. However, because of my track record, she would assign me as stage director or assistant director. I was usually involved in the day-to-day operations of the play and the details of how the play would be performed. I handled the operation for the play by directing scenes the best way I could and then showing them to her for approval. If she did not like the way a scene worked, I gave her my opinion as to why it should be my way. If we still could not compromise, I would follow her directions to the best of my ability. Understanding that people don’t usually have malicious intentions is key, and understanding that you will never be able to convince some people that your way is right is the best way to avoid conflict and still get the job done.